At the center of the Abyssal layer of Tarkoros rises a lone mountain. Typhon, Father of Monsters, is chained beneath this peak by the powers of good.
Typhon desires escape above all else, but thus far, no known power can free him. The Children of Typhon, the cult that worships the Father of Monsters, seeks untapped knowledge and power in their attempts to free him. These are details of their efforts.
The Iron Keepers are a sect of the Children of Typhon who spend their time breeding and training monsters. This often includes experimental breeding programs to make more dangerous creatures out of existing dangers, modifying or combining monsters into an entirely new threat.
For example, Iron Keepers have crossed night hags with nightmares to create terrible extraplanar centaurs. They have bred giant apes with manticores to form hideous, flying monstrosities. The combinations are unlimited, given the cult’s cruelty and lack of inhibition.
Successful results are often used by as guardians of their hidden lairs and shock troops against their enemies. Some creations of an arachnid persuasion are presented below.
Spider Drake Mutation
Spider drakes (see Creature Codex) exhale poison and are coated with a sticky secretion that traps attackers’ weapons. The Keepers have further mutated this arachnid-dragon, infusing it with elemental flame to make the regular menace into a fiery menace.
Under Damage Immunities, add fire.
The Sticky Secretions special trait becomes Flammable Sticky Secretions. It works as the original, with the following adjustment:
If the mutated spider drake is targeted with fire damage, or in the area of effect of a fire, its secretions burst into flames. For the next 1d4 rounds, any creature that touches the drake or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 14 (4d6) fire damage. Once the fire goes out, the drake gains no benefits from this trait for 1d4 rounds.
Replace the Poison Breath action with:
Fire Breath (Recharge 5–6). The drake exhales fire in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 42 (12d6) fire damage.
The Web action becomes Flaming Web. It works as the original action, with the following adjustment:
The webbing has AC 10, 5 hit points, vulnerability to acid damage, and immunity to bludgeoning, fire, poison, and psychic damage. If the webbing is hit with an attack that does fire damage, or in the area of effect of a fire effect, the webs burst into flames, burning for 1d4 rounds, and dealing 14 (4d6) fire damage to any creature restrained by the webbing at the start of its turn.
The deathweaver (see Tome of Beasts 2) is sufficiently deadly for most rational minds. A decidedly evil spider-like creature whose necrotic webbing can raise slain humanoids as zombies seems enough.
But the Iron Keepers were unsatisfied. They conducted necromantic rituals that bolster the deathweaver’s already considerable innate spellcasting, as well as its ability to reanimate the dead.
A mutated deathweaver has a Challenge of 10 (5,900 XP) and retains normal statistics except as described below.
Increase its Constitution to 18, and its Charisma to 18.
Increase its Hit Points to 210 (20d12 + 80)
Modify its Innate Spellcasting special trait as follows:
Innate Spellcasting. The mutated deathweaver’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 16, +8 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: chill touch, darkness
3/day each: unholy defiance*, vampiric touch
1/day: command undead*, curse of hostility*
*spell found in Deep Magic
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw, taking 27 (6d8) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If the necrotic damage reduces the target to 0 hp, the target is stable but poisoned for 1 hour, even after regaining hp, and is paralyzed while poisoned this way.
Web (Recharge 5–6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 40/80 ft., one creature. Hit: The target is restrained by webbing and takes 7 (2d6) necrotic damage each round. As an action, the restrained target can make a DC 16 Strength check, bursting the web on a success. The webbing can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 10; hp 5; vulnerability to fire damage; immunity to bludgeoning, necrotic, poison, and psychic damage). A humanoid slain by this attack rises 24 hours later as a web mummy under the mutated deathweaver’s control, unless the humanoid is restored to life or its body is destroyed. The mutated deathweaver can have no more than six web mummies under its control at one time.
A web mummy has a Challenge of 4 (1,100 XP) and retains normal mummy statistics except as described below.
Speed. The web mummy has a climbing speed of 30 feet.
Necrotic Weapons. When the web mummy hits a creature with a melee attack, the attack deals an extra 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.
Web Walker. The web mummy ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.
Multiattack. The web mummy makes two attacks with its rotting fist, or one rotting fist attack and uses its Dreadful Glare. If both rotting fist attacks hit a Medium or smaller target, the target is restrained by webbing. As an action, the restrained target can make a DC 13 Strength check, bursting the webbing on a success. The webbing can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 10; hp 5; vulnerability to fire damage; immunity to bludgeoning, necrotic, poison, and psychic damage.